|This page is about the German light tank Sd.Kfz.234/2. For other versions, see Sd.Kfz.234 (Family).|
The s.Pz.Sp.Wg. (5 cm 39/1 L60) Sd.Kfz.234/2 is the first production variant and most well-known version of the Sd.Kfz.234 family, a heavy armoured car used mainly as a reconnaissance vehicle, featuring the turret of the prototype VK 16.02 Leopard housing a 50 mm KwK 39 cannon next to an MG42 machine gun. The Sd.Kfz 234 series were primarily built as a further improvement to Germany's reconnaissance vehicles after learning of the effectiveness of said type of vehicle with combat reports of the Sd.Kfz. series 231/232/233.
It was introduced in Update 1.69 "Regia Aeronautica". A respectable armoured car, the Sd.Kfz.234/2 presents great speed and a significant 50 mm KwK39/1 cannon. Due to its status as a light tank, and thus having the ability to scout, it should put more emphasis on its speed to put itself in an advantageous position to sight targets for allies, with its gun only for emergencies should an enemy vehicle try to get an upper hand on the vehicle.
Survivability and armour
- Rolled homogeneous armour
- Cast homogeneous armour (Gun mantlet, Vision ports)
- Wheel (Tires)
|Armour||Front (Slope angle)||Sides||Rear||Roof|
|Hull|| 30 mm (40°) Front plate
15 mm (70°), 30 mm (55°) Front glacis
30 mm (35°) Lower glacis
| 8 mm (34-35°) Top
8 (10-35°) + 4 mm
| 10 mm (21°) Upper glacis
10 mm + 10 mm (46°) Lower glacis
| 15 (20°) Driver compartment |
5 mm Crew & engine compartments
|Turret|| 30 mm (20°) Turret front
30 + 50 mm (conical) Gun mantlet
|14.5 mm (24-25°)|| 14.5 mm (25°)
8 mm (22°) Pistol port
- Torsion bars and wheels are 10 mm thick.
- Belly armour is 12.7 mm thick.
- Mudguards and storage boxes are 4 mm thick.
- Vision ports on car body are 10 mm thick.
|Game Mode||Max Speed (km/h)||Weight (tons)||Engine power (horsepower)||Power-to-weight ratio (hp/ton)|
The Puma can reach a speed of around 45 km/h on flat terrain. Thanks to its transmission, it can drive in reverse with the same speed and manoeuvrability. Due to its wheeled design, it struggles in sand, snow, and mud. It is also hard to keep going straight in a line at high speeds. The game does offer some degree of compensation for this via the "Activate Cruise Mode" control binding under the "Tank Driving" subsection. When using Cruise Mode, hold down the desired key you bound its activation to, and steer with mouse movements, this allows pinpoint steering while retaining speed. However, you cannot shoot while using Cruise Mode, so use it wisely.
Modifications and economy
The Puma fields the 50 mm KwK39/1 cannon, similar to the one in the late Panzer III models, as well as the same ammunition. The cannon was designed for an anti-tank role, and it does its job well. It can select from an APC shell penetrating 106 mm, which should be the main round, two APCR shells with 130 mm and 137 mm penetration respectively (a few of the better ones should be carried into battle, especially if you uptier the Puma, so it might see KV-1s, as well for long-range sniping), and an HE shell which can be used against AA trucks. As the APC shell has no ballistic cap, it might struggle against angled armour, so it is best to go for side shots. With a reload of 4.1 seconds and high velocity shells, this tank can do the job both in close quarters and at long range.
|50 mm KwK.39/1||Turret rotation speed (°/s)||Reloading rate (seconds)|
|Ammunition|| Type of
|Penetration @ 0° Angle of Attack (mm)|
|10 m||100 m||500 m||1,000 m||1,500 m||2,000 m|
|Ammunition|| Type of
| Fuse delay
| Fuse sensitivity
| Explosive mass
(TNT equivalent) (g)
|55||33 (+22)||29 (+26)||25 (+30)||21 (+34)||17 (+38)||13 (+42)||9 (+46)||5 (+50)||1 (+54)||No|
The Puma has a coaxial MG42 that can't penetrate the weakest tank armour and is only useful against exposed crew members.
|7.92 mm MG42|
|Mount||Capacity (Belt)||Fire rate||Vertical||Horizontal|
Usage in battles
The Puma adopts a lot of typical light tank tactics. To play this vehicle well, you must shoot and scoot. Your fast reload times with a very fast reverse speed makes it ideal for firing around a corner, then backing up and flanking. The tank is very fast on the road; however, it has poor performance off-road, so it is not recommended on desert maps and muddy maps where you can get slowed down by the terrain. Since you have weak armour and a compact crew module, penetrative shots typically result in your destruction. It is advised to not brawl with tanks and to flank whenever possible, using your speed and mobility versus enemy tanks as your armour. Use the terrain to your advantage, firing over hills and making good use of your gun depression. Sidescrape corners and do not hold angles, as you will most likely be destroyed.
The tank's speed in combination with its low spawn cost in RB as a light tank makes it ideal to spawn in at the start of the game and capture the objective in 2 or 3 point domination. This guarantees you spawn points for a respawn and gives you opportunities to flank the enemy.
The real beauty of the Puma is its ability to flank around different parts of the map rapidly. It is extremely manoeuvrable and can traverse most types of terrain very quickly (avoid mud). You should take up a covert playstyle with this vehicle. Even if you see an enemy, you should only fire at the perfect moment, where you are guaranteed a score. This especially applies to T-34s and KV-1s, where hits to the side or rear are far more effective. This being said, the 5 cm gun is a great gun. It is easy to use, high velocity, accurate and has a good range of ammunition.
Notable enemies you will meet are the T-34 (1942) and M4 Sherman, along with armoured tanks like the Churchill I, Matilda III, Valentine XI, and the KV-1 (L-11) These tanks are difficult to penetrate and require advanced knowledge of weak spots, so it is advised to avoid these where possible. Medium tanks are easier to combat if flanked; however, it is not always reliable due to the weak penetration of the PzGr 39 and the poor penetration of sloped armour for PzGr 40.
Out of all the enemies you will meet, the T-34s are probably the biggest threat. The sloped armour is difficult to penetrate, and they have excellent mobility, meaning you will meet them often. The gun is also utterly devastating for the Puma. The high explosive filler and range of shells will make short work of your vehicle. If you encounter an T-34 (any variant), aim for the turret cheeks and take out the gunner. Aiming at the frontal hull armour is unreliable and often results in a ricochet. T-34s are also very, very mobile, so it is best to go for side shots on them if you insist on engaging them.
Shermans also present the problem of sloped frontal armour. The M4A1 isn't as much of an issue, but the M4/M4A2/M4A3 variants are more difficult to penetrate. From the side, Shermans have flat armour and tall profiles. They are easy to destroy when flanked, but they too have exceptionally good mobility, especially cross-country, so they can be even more of a pain to deal with than T-34s. They also have short-stop stabilizers and .50 cals which make them even more of a threat.
Pros and cons
- The gun is powerful, fast to reload, and can effectively penetrate armour on the M4's front at 200 m. Its APCR has a penetration of up to 137 mm, which is effective against KV-1
- Extremely high forward and reverse speeds make it the fastest vehicle on the road; can get to positions quickly or retreat fast
- Small and narrow frontal profile allows it to hide behind small bushes or rocks; it's also harder to get hit
- Can be a great scout vehicle in higher ranks due to its fast speed. Even the M18 GMC cannot easily outrun it
- Only 8 mm side armour, meaning some shells will go straight through without being detonated
- Has a wide range of good-looking camouflage to unlock. Suitable for almost every terrain/map
- Has 6 smoke grenades, that create a wide frontal screen when launched; very useful when trying to cover up a general area
- Surprisingly durable at times, due to inexperienced players shooting at the front, ignoring the crew member lying in the back
- Gun mantlet is thick and covers most of the turret, which makes the turret surprisingly durable
- Thin armour overall, can get killed by almost anything including artillery strikes, strafing planes and .50 cal M2 Browning
- Vulnerable to overpressure (HE shells, artillery strikes, bombs, and rockets)
- Compact crew compartment, will be easily destroyed in one shot
- Relatively slow turret rotation, combined with the sharp turns at high speed, it is hard to aim
- Relatively low calibre shells tend to bounce off angled armour, angled hull of the T-34 is almost impossible to penetrate
- Starts to snake around at high speeds, making it hard to control, needing counter-steering.
- Sluggish mobility on snowy and desert maps, which takes away its mobility advantage
- Cannot turn in place due to wheels
- Hard to control at top speed
The blitzkrieg tactics in Poland and France gave the Germans a new appreciation of mobile and lethal reconnaissance vehicles. The Germans especially valued the armoured cars due to their speed, firepower, and their pre-war build-up as they were not restricted by the Versailles Treaty. The Germans started with armoured cars like the Sd.Kfz.231 family, each with different armaments. However, these vehicles had its flaws and in August 1940, Germany sought a replacement following the conclusion of the Battle of France.
The new vehicle was built off an improved Sd.Kfz.232 chassis made in monocoque construction by Büssing-NAG, its armoured body was made by Deutsche Edelstahlwerke, the turret by Daimler-Benz and Schichau, and air-cooled diesel engines by Ringhoffer-Tatra-Werke AG. The monocoque chassis design was built with an eight-wheel steering system, six forward and reverse gears, as well as having an additional driver seat in the rear for quick reversal get-aways. This construction led to Sd.Kfz.234 family. Vehicle construction first started in 1943 as the Sd.Kfz.234/2, which had a turret originally intended for the VK 1602 Leopard mounting a 5 cm L/60 gun, construction continued on this vehicle until mid-1944. The Sd.Kfz.234/2 earned the nickname "Puma" from the soldiers using it.
Production for Sd.Kfz.234/2 shifted towards other armaments in 1944 that replaced the original. This produced variants such as the Sd.Kfz.234/1 which replaced the turret with an open-top one carrying a 2 cm KwK38, this was produced between mid-1944 to early 1945. Right besides that, the Sd.Kfz.234/3 was produced with an open-top structure to mount a 75 mm howitzer, this was produced from mid-1944 until the end of 1944. At the Sd.Kfz.234/3's production end, it was replaced by the Sd.Kfz.234/4, also known as the "Pakwagen", that had the armament replaced by a 7.5 cm PaK40 anti-tank gun. This last variant was produced from the end of 1944 to the capitulation of Germany in World War II. A total of 478 Sd.Kfz.234 armoured cars were produced, 200 of the 234/1, 101 of the 234/2, 88 of the 234/3, and 89 of the 234/4.
The Sd.Kfz.234 cars were originally intended for the conflicts in North Africa. However, the engine development took abnormally long to complete and by the time it was ready, the North African theater had concluded. Nevertheless, they served in the Western and Eastern front with success, but was impeded by its low production count.
The Sd.Kfz. 234/2 variant was arguably the most popular, as the staple of the 234 family. The vehicle served in the Panzer Lehr Division, 1st and 2nd SS Panzer Division, 2nd, 7th, 13th, and 20th Panzer Division. The Sd.Kfz.234 in the recon companies were allocated in 19 or 25 vehicles per division, further split into platoons up to six vehicles and one as the headquarters. However, due to their low production numbers, this allocation was rarely kept in full strength in the war,
The Sd.Kfz.234 first saw combat in Normandy after D-Day in the stationed Panzer Lehr and 2nd Panzer Division in the Sd.Kfz.234/2 variant. The divisions used these vehicles in recon roles until their withdrawal behind the Seine River, with Panzer Lehr having 8 Sd.Kfz.234/2 of the original 26 it had. These divisions were rebuilt in the fall of 1944 with the Sd.Kfz.234/1 and Sd.Kfz.234/3 after the 234/2 ceased production.
- RideR2's Realistic gunsight (TZF4a, TZF 5a/b/d/e/f/f2, TZF 9b/b1/c/d, TZF 12/a) for Pzkpfw II, Pzkpfw III, Pzkpfw IV, Pzkpfw V, Pzkpfw VI (Sd.Kfz.234/2 included)
- Other vehicles of similar configuration and role
|Germany light tanks|
|Pz.II||Pz.II C · Pz.II C (DAK) · Pz.II C TD · Pz.II F · Pz.Sfl.Ic|
|Sd.Kfz.234||Sd.Kfz.234/1 · Sd.Kfz.234/2 · Sd.Kfz.234/2 TD|
|Marder||Marder A1- · Marder 1A3 · Begleitpanzer 57 · DF105|
|Wheeled||Sd.Kfz.221 (s.Pz.B.41) · Class 3 (P) · Radkampfwagen 90|
|Other||Ru 251 · SPz 12-3 LGS|
|Argentina||TAM · TAM 2C · TAM 2IP · JaPz.K A2|
|Czechoslovakia||Pz.35(t) · Pz.38(t) A · Pz.38(t) F · Pz.38(t) n.A. · Sd.Kfz. 140/1|